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Right now I’m sitting in my old bedroom – the one I lived in for most of my childhood and for the 5 years I lived at home between college and graduate school. I’ve spent the last two days with my family, celebrating my father’s birthday, and also today had a chance to have lunch with some friends.

Coming home like this is a mixed blessing. I love seeing my family and friends, love spending time relaxing and chatting about random things with my sister, love the chance to take naps during the rainy afternoons and go to the beach to see the water I miss so much when I’m in Springfield. The problem is, it’s so nice that I don’t want to leave again. Every time I come home to visit it becomes harder to leave.

It’s funny – I know technically that if I did stay here, the excitement of being back would eventually fade and life would return to normal and I would no longer find this place as attractive as it seems to me right now. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to be here, where my family and the people who’ve cared about me for so long are within hugging distance and going to the beach means a half-hour drive to a little corner of paradise.

I’ve reconciled myself to a lot of aspects of Springfield. I’ve learned where to find my international and gourmet foods, learned which restaurants have an actual sense for the art of food, learned that I can enjoy going to the park even though it’s not the beach, and I’ve developed friendships that I would really miss if I left. But in my heart, I think I’ll always be a Florida girl. Fort Myers is no metropolis, and it’s not really all that glamorous, but it’s home to me. No matter where I go in the world I think I’ll still miss it. I don’t know that I’ll ever live here again, but I think there’s a piece of me here that will always be left behind when I go back to wherever it is that life takes me. My family is here, my history is here, and my roots here are too strong to be entirely removed.

So…here’s to trips home, spending time with family and friends, and trying to get the most joy out of every moment of an all-t00-short holiday. It’s nice to be home.